“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them
” (Ephesians 2:10).
Words matter. As we consider the “words” of God very carefully, we arrive at the proper message and meaning of Holy Scripture. First, let’s observe what the word DOES NOT say. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto ETERNAL LIFE
, which God hath before ordained that we have it
.” See what I mean, words matter? What does the Bible actually say then?
We are His workmanship (thing that is made) in Christ Jesus unto good works. God has before ordained that we should walk in them (good works). This was “His design” and “His will” before the foundation of the world—that we who believe in Christ with our God given free will are created unto good works and that we walk in them. He ordained it. (And for those who may have questions about Ephesians 1:3-12, I plan on discussing those verses in forthcoming posts)
Those who are in Christ Jesus are new persons, with new minds, new lives, and are created to do good works. Here’s a question for you to consider. Why is it that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works and yet still do bad works? If God ordained that we walk in good works, why do we not walk in good works 100 percent of the time? Can you answer that? We’re back to that God given free will again. Here’s why we so often make wrong choices. It’s our mortality. We are still humans in case no one has informed you. And we make wrong choices, have wrong thoughts, and do wrong deeds as a result of our failure to appropriate the realities of who we are in Christ by faith.
As we take the whole of scripture we clearly see that the ordained workmanship of God to walk in good works takes place when and after we first believe. We are only able to walk in good works because of the indwelling Holy Spirit given to every believer. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise
,” (Ephesians 1:13). Yes, we are saved by grace—which is the benefit and favor of God. Yes, we are saved through faith—which is also the gift of God given to all humans. But you have a God given free will to believe or not believe. It was this way before you believed in Christ, at the moment you believed in Christ, and as you continue believing in Christ. You have a free will. This is God’s design.
Our salvation is not acquired by good works, nor is it maintained or preserved by good works, but as believers we are each created in Christ Jesus unto good works. And as we “…grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ… (2 Peter 3:18), we walk in them on a more consistent basis. The Lord Jesus Christ we believe in is the same Lord Jesus Christ who will work in and through us to bring forth fruit, more fruit, and much fruit! Believe!